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Mol Cell. 2011 Jun 10;42(5):597-609. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2011.03.030.

A HIF-1 target, ATIA, protects cells from apoptosis by modulating the mitochondrial thioredoxin, TRX2.

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Cell and Cancer Biology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 37 Convent Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


The regulation of apoptosis is critical for controlling tissue homeostasis and preventing tumor formation and growth. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation plays a key role in such regulation. Here, we describe a HIF-1 target, Vasn/ATIA (anti-TNFα-induced apoptosis), which protects cells against TNFα- and hypoxia-induced apoptosis. Through the generation of ATIA knockout mice, we show that ATIA protects cells from apoptosis through regulating the function of the mitochondrial antioxidant, thioredoxin-2, and ROS generation. ATIA is highly expressed in human glioblastoma, and ATIA knockdown in glioblastoma cells renders them sensitive to hypoxia-induced apoptosis. Therefore, ATIA is not only a HIF-1 target that regulates mitochondrial redox pathways but also a potentially diagnostic marker and therapeutic target in human glioblastoma.

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